School this week was awesome! I think it's because we made so many yummy (and in some cases interesting) things to eat! In pastry and baking this week we focused on sweet bread, we made challah and gibassier. Challah is Jewish holiday bread braided and baked to perfection. Made with lots of eggs and lots of butter, it was yummy I'm looking forward to making some challah french toast this weekend! Gibassier is a traditional bread from France, flavored with anis seed powder and orange blossom water. Anis seeds come from the spice star anis, the flavor is quite strong and black licorice-y. An overabundance could be too much but just the little bit that we used made the bread taste great! After the Gibassier is baked it is brushed with a healthy portion of clarified butter and tossed in sugar. Hows that for sweet bread? In my cooking class we made Gnocchi, a potato pasta that is utterly delicious (I think this was my favorite thing I made this week) and had a demo on homemade marinara sauce, the two paired were so good. The gnocchi cooks up to be so light and fluffy. I struggled with the shaping of my little gnocchi guys but they still tasted great. We also made fried frog legs this week, I wish I could say that I liked them but they were awful! The meat was so tough and chewy and literally tasted like frogs (and the environment in which they live) smell. Finally we made our first fancy, complete dish. It was a grilled pork chop with apple bacon gastrique, and yes it tasted as good as it sounds. We made a caramel type mixture with brown sugar bacon and onions and then added apple cider vinegar, sliced apples and sage, and let it cook down to perfection - that's the gastrique, a sweet and sour sauce. The gastrique was served over the pork chop with sauteed summer squash and gnocchi. My taste buds were going crazy it was soooo good. I'm looking forward to experimenting with variations of the gastrique - I'm thinking peaches and balsamic vinegar topped with a little goat cheese crumble? Anyway all in all a fantastic week of classes!